hair raiser

Hair on fire: Pakistani barber replaces scissors with flames for nuanced hairstyles

Shafqat Rajpoot's technique is extraordinary, even if it is not entirely his own invention.

The city of Bahawalpur in Pakistan has a hot new trend for cool haircuts.

Barber Shafqat Rajpoot has started it, but it seems his competitors don’t want to play with fire. Literally.

For, Rajpoot sets his client’s hair on fire and quickly brushes through the flames to give the hair a “bouncy effect”. He calls his style “fire-cutting” and right now customers cannot help but give it a try.

Rajpoot can be seen applying some powder and sprinkling drops of a flammable liquid that catches fire for a minute. In his interview to AJ+ Arabi below, he reveals some details about his technique, though not his secret formula for setting people’s hair on fire: “No sir, it’s my own creation.”

It only works with dense and long hair, though, as “the hair gets layers and it opens up”. Those with sparse hair may end up having their scalp burnt if they insist on the treatment.

Meanwhile in Rafah, a Palestinian city, daring customers take themselves to Ramadan Odwan’s salon to get a similar haircut.

But the 37-year old hairdresser, who has been in business for 18 years, insists that he isn’t imitating anyone. “We (Gazans) can come up with ideas and creativity,” said Odwan to Reuters.

Using fire to cut hair is apparently a traditional method, says Franco Bompier, an Italian who still believes that his old way is the best in this age.

The video below by Great Big Story follows Bompier in the last of the traditional barber shops in Milan, cutting hair with candles. He says that the flame makes the hair fuller, and stops it from falling out.


In Brazil, candle-cutting or “velaterapia” is known for singeing off split-ends. It involves running a candle flame along twisted strands of hair. Time guesses that the origins of this technique lie in ancient civilisations or among pioneering beauties such as Cleopatra, who supposedly had her locks singed regularly to get the well-known “thick, glossy, waterfall look”.

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Advice from an ex-robber on how to keep your home safe

Tips on a more hands-on approach of keeping your house secure.

Home, a space that is entirely ours, holds together our entire world. Where our children grow-up, parents grow old and we collect a lifetime of memories, home is a feeling as much as it’s a place. So, what do you do when your home is eyed by miscreants who prowl the neighbourhood night and day, plotting to break in? Here are a few pre-emptive measures you can take to make your home safe from burglars:

1. Get inside the mind of a burglar

Before I break the lock of a home, first I bolt the doors of the neighbouring homes. So that, even if someone hears some noise, they can’t come to help.

— Som Pashar, committed nearly 100 robberies.

Burglars study the neighbourhood to keep a check on the ins and outs of residents and target homes that can be easily accessed. Understanding how the mind of a burglar works might give insights that can be used to ward off such danger. For instance, burglars judge a house by its front doors. A house with a sturdy door, secured by an alarm system or an intimidating lock, doesn’t end up on the burglar’s target list. Upgrade the locks on your doors to the latest technology to leave a strong impression.

Here are the videos of 3 reformed robbers talking about their modus operandi and what discouraged them from robbing a house, to give you some ideas on reinforcing your home.


2. Survey your house from inside out to scout out weaknesses

Whether it’s a dodgy back door, a misaligned window in your parent’s room or the easily accessible balcony of your kid’s room, identify signs of weakness in your home and fix them. Any sign of neglect can give burglars the idea that the house can be easily robbed because of lax internal security.

3. Think like Kevin McCallister from Home Alone

You don’t need to plant intricate booby traps like the ones in the Home Alone movies, but try to stay one step ahead of thieves. Keep your car keys on your bed-stand in the night so that you can activate the car alarm in case of unwanted visitors. When out on a vacation, convince the burglars that the house is not empty by using smart light bulbs that can be remotely controlled and switched on at night. Make sure that your newspapers don’t pile up in front of the main-door (a clear indication that the house is empty).

4. Protect your home from the outside

Collaborate with your neighbours to increase the lighting around your house and on the street – a well-lit neighbourhood makes it difficult for burglars to get-away, deterring them from targeting the area. Make sure that the police verification of your hired help is done and that he/she is trustworthy.

While many of us take home security for granted, it’s important to be proactive to eliminate even the slight chance of a robbery. As the above videos show, robbers come up with ingenious ways to break in to homes. So, take their advice and invest in a good set of locks to protect your doors. Godrej Locks offer a range of innovative locks that are un-pickable and un-duplicable. To secure your house, see here.

The article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Godrej Locks and not by the Scroll editorial team.